National newspaper sites’ traffic slides after Brexit bounce – The Guardian

Most of the UK’s national newspaper websites saw their digital traffic slide in July following a record-breaking month in June around the Brexit vote.

Mail Online saw average daily browsers fall by 1.2% to below 15 million, while the Guardian saw a 6.9% fall in browsers, taking it back below 10 million, according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations figures published on Thursday.

The Telegraph and Independent sites saw even bigger falls, with the Telegraph down by 7.6% to 5.2 million browsers and the Independent down by 8.9% to just under 4 million. Traffic at the Express and the Sun also declined.

Though the record month for news websites in June set a high bar for newspaper websites, traffic could also have been affected by a change in Facebook’s algorithm at the end of June that prioritised posts from friends rather than publishers’ pages.

Only the Mirror, Metro and Daily Star saw traffic rise during the month. The Mirror site was up by almost 5% to 5.3 million unique browsers a day.

However, the real bright spot for Mirror owner Trinity Mirror was its network of regional sites. The figures for the first time include sites from Local World, the newspaper group acquired by Trinity in October last year, driving the number of average daily browsers up almost 60% to 3.9m. The network on its own now attracts almost as many browsers as the Independent, and combined with the company’s national titles provides an audience of 8.9 million.

Mirror Online editorial director Pete Picton said: “Back-to-back record months for Mirror Online is a fantastic achievement, testament to the team’s excellent reporting during an extraordinary period of news.

“It’s pleasing that Mirror Online is a source for a variety of news, with no single topic propelling us to the record number in July. Instead, we saw consistent big audiences spread across a number of stories.”

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